“One of my secrets for being a good father was, and still is, selfless respect towards the mother of my children and the respect towards my children’s dreams”. These are the words of John Grech, 85, who resides, together with his wife, at Casa Arkati, in Mosta.
Speaking about the significance of Father’s Day, John explained how as a father figure he always felt some insecurities, “Am I being a good father to my two sons? Am I setting a good example? Am I dedicating enough time to my family?” But along the years seeing his two sons grow into fine men gave him the ultimate satisfaction despite the many challenges his family might have faced.
Until the age of 4, John lived in Msida then spent most of his adult life living in Marsa. After getting married at the age of 34, together with his wife, he lived in Ħamrun, where they raised their family. At a later stage in their life, they decided to move to Santa Venera, to a smaller house. At the age of 14, he started working as an apprentice at the Malta Dockyard, was promoted to Ship Repair Accountant, and retired in 1993.
“I and my wife have always been a team. She dedicated most of her time to taking care of our children while I was at work or doing some extra shifts. I am sure that my children would not be the men they are today if it wasn’t for her constant care, even towards me, and that is also what made me a good father, at least that is what I think,” said John with a grin on his face.
Looking back to the days when his children were teenagers, John mentioned how one of his biggest fears was for his children to fall into bad company. “Yes, that was a huge fear which, unfortunately, nowadays has become much more of a reality. Today, it is not easy being a father, but my advice to them is to understand their children, especially adolescent behavior, protect them, educate them and discipline them. It is not easy especially if your children are demanding, character-wise, but meaningful conversations and patience, I believe are essential.”
Today, John enjoys, even more, celebrating Father’s Day not only because he is a father himself but also because he is a proud Grandparent. “I think that becoming a grandpa is another milestone one achieves when being a father, it is definitely one of the perks”.
John Grech also mentioned how through the years he has been involved in trade unionism, for 17 years he was part of the Ħamrun Choir, was a member of St. Joseph Band Club in Ħamrun and for almost 50 years he was the internal auditor of St. Gaetan Band Club, Ħamrun.
About Father’s Day
Father’s Day is a day to honor fatherhood and paternal bonds, as well as the influence of fathers in society. Since its first celebration in 1910, the event has been observed across the world and across traditions and regions. In certain European countries, it has been celebrated on March 19 as Saint Joseph’s Day since the Middle Ages.